Everywhere Marv Wolfman looked at Comic-Con International in San Diego, he saw signs of characters he created. From the hotel key cards to the Warner Bros. sponsored backpack bags to hundreds of cosplayers, the enduring appeal of Raven, Starfire, Cyborg and Beast Boy was apparent, their youthful "Teen Titans Go!" visages appearing across the breadth of the annual show.
Early next year, Wolfman returns to one of his kids in "Raven," a DC Comics miniseries that will follow the popular Titan as she navigates a very unfamiliar and complicated world: Earth. The "New Teen Titans" co-creator spoke with CBR News from the show floor, expressing how wonderful it feels to see fans of all ages embracing the character. We also spoke about the importance of maintaining the core of the comics incarnation of the character despite ever-shifting continuity changes, and why he feels it remains imperative that publishers continue making comics for everyone.
CBR News: Along with a number of other Teen Titans, you created Raven with George Perez. What's it like to see a character you created endure for so long?
Marv Wolfman: What was so fun is that I checked into my hotel room, they give me the key card, and Raven's face is on it. They don't who I am or that I created her, but they gave me two key cards with Cyborg and Raven. When your character enters into the "real world," outside of our little cluster of fans, or somebody -- like that person right over there -- is dressed up as Raven, you think about how you've done something that affected people in ways you never knew they would. It's the most wonderful feeling. Seeing all those costumes is just great.
Also, because so many of my characters are female, it's great to get women involved with comics [in a way] that they hadn't been in 1974. When "[New] Teen Titans" started, we didn't how the book would do, we didn't know what the expectations were. I spent about five months working on the characters before I even presented it to DC. You just hope it will sell. You're not thinking it's going to become one of the most popular characters around. You don't think it's going to be there 35 years later -- especially for a character like Raven, who is sort of the antithesis of most characters. She's shy. She's short. Her powers are inward. They're about emotion, not about fighting. She's very different from other characters. To see the fans embrace that character is wonderful because it allows us to try and write different stories in many different directions. They don't have to all be action stories.
That said, what can you say about the story we'll be seeing in the miniseries.
I actually made a conscious choice that these stories will not be super violent or super action-driven. These are actually very creepy. The miniseries is an incredibly dark, creepy story. But then you have Raven, who is almost like Raven: Year One, or Raven: Year Zero, even. She's young. She's on Earth. She doesn't quite know what's going on and how people react. This is her trying to learn. She doesn't even know how school works. This is before she meets the Titans. It's from the time period when she very first appears but we didn't know what she was up to.
It takes place today, but it's as if Raven was reborn now. It's the same character I wrote, but it's meant for a very different readership.
You create these characters, and other writers take control of them. Now, you've gotten back this character back, and in this case, it's like the character is reborn. How does this reborn version differ from what we've seen before?
I know Raven inside and out, emotionally, but I'm not getting the chance to write a different type character. There's a lot more humor in it, because she doesn't understand what she's doing in some cases, and she's trying to figure out what to do. It's a very different attitude, but it's still Raven.
The story is so different from what people have seen me write before. It's very dark, very creepy and very funny -- all at the same time. The story itself is a very bizarre one. There's a deep emotional and serious quality to it. There's not a lot of punching, because Raven doesn't punch. She's a pacifist, so her powers run very differently. If we're going to be honest to the character, we have to make sure she doesn't become an action hero. I'm trying to be logical with the character while having a lot of fun and presenting a whole new take so readers don't feel that they're reading the same thing that they read in 1980. I think it's always important to rebuild and recreate characters. The heart of the character is totally Raven, but it's a new world and I'm writing it for a new audience.
It's so vital that we open the world of comics to everyone. Not just 14-year-old boys or 28-year-old men, but every age and every gender identity.
"Raven" arrives in stores in early 2016.